Monday, March 01, 2004

St David's Day

St David's Day - or where I out myself as Welsh. I have to admit to lapsing a little and only realising when I woke this morning that it was the 1st March. I think I automatically lose my right to Welsh heritage for the next 12 months. A lot of you probably know bugger all about St David, as St Patrick is a great one for hogging the saintly limelight.

St David (or Dewi Sant to be more accurate) is the patron saint of Wales. It is thought that Dewi died in 589. His mother was called Non, and his father, Sant, was the son of Ceredig, King of Ceredigion. After being educated in Cardiganshire, he went on pilgrimage through south Wales and the west of England, where it is said that he founded religious centres such as Glastonbury and Croyland. He also went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he was made archbishop.

He eventually settled at Glyn Rhosyn (St David's), in south-west Wales, where he established a very strict ascetic religious community. Many miracles have been attributed to him, the most incredible of which was performed when he was preaching at the Synod of Llanddewibrefi - he caused the ground to rise underneath him so that he could be seen and heard by all.

From the 12th century onwards, Dewi's fame spread throughout South Wales and as far as Ireland and Brittany. St David's Cathedral became a popular centre of pilgrimage, particularly after Dewi was officially recognised as a Catholic saint in 1120. In 1398, it was ordained that his feast-day was to be kept by every church in the Province of Canterbury. Though the feast of Dewi as a religious festival came to an end with the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, the day of his birth became a national festival during the18th century. Adapted from Dydd Gwyl Ddewi

St David’s Day Quiz
Welsh recipes